Friday, July 3, 2009

Illegal Documentation

I recently made my first trip to Everglades National Park on June 18, 2009. While there may be virtually unlimited access to this incredibly vast wildlife venue that encompasses a major footprint on the southern peninsula of Florida by water, there are only two official primary entrances to the park by land. These include the Shark Valley Visitor Center at the northern edge of the park between Naples and Miami and the primary access to the park at its main entrance in Homestead south of Miami which allows access for a slice through the park all the way to Flamingo at the end of the highway.

The Black Skimmer above at Lovers Key State Park is always a special treat to observe as it can never be counted on for a sighting.

Everglades National Park is considered to be a world class venue for wildlife viewing. One can expect that for its enormity in size and diversity including eight habitat types. In my limited research of the park, it has been noted that more than half of its area may have been negatively impacted due to man's intervention for control of its water sources for urban and agricultural needs. Weather consequences as well may have been attributable to concerns of a reported 90 percent reduction in the numbers of wading birds observed in the recent past. It is believed that the birds, however, are on a significant rebound.

As with many popular wildlife venues in this part of Florida, it may be expected that wildlife is especially abundant as the water levels from torrential summer thunderstorms and hurricanes subside to the point where food for avian and land creatures is virtually cherry picked for the taking. This scenario was recently described to me by a friend whom observed this reality at Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve before the beginning of this year's rainy season. I've made a few visits to the slough with the closest experience seen first hand at the National Audubon Society Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary this spring when a veteran volunteer told me of an alligator getting the better of a wading bird some years ago. Such an event is surprisingly not much more frequently observed at that time as dozens of egrets were seen in the company of a handful of what appeared to be very well fed alligators.

It was during my initial journey into the national park on the way to Flamingo that I made my first observation of the Swallow-tailed Kite with its flight along the road toward me as it made a flyover. The observation was especially exciting as I had not seen the species before. This past week has offered the sighting of the kite in Fort Myers on two additional occasions. I'm very optimistic to offer my own photographic evidence of this species in the future.

In the meantime, you may see the Swallow-tailed Kite as observed by my friend, Tim Rucci, here. I hope you encounter a similar experience.

No comments:

Post a Comment